So recently, I shared this photo on my blog Facebook page:
I thought it was another case of me being quirky…which let’s admit, I am very quirky…but a lot of other people commented that they too had to sleep with water and that they also didn’t think they did this before RA. It was funny and cool, I never cease to be amazed at the things I am taught by other patients.
It made me wonder what else I may do that we don’t necessarily realize we have in common so I thought I’d show you a few more habits of mine that are perhaps a bit quirky but perhaps may be surprisingly familiar?
So welcome to my bedroom, the place where no magic happens. (Sorry, I grew up watching MTV Cribs and couldn’t resist. But I kept it PG, right?) But I’m starting with this room because this is where the most important thing for my overall health happens: sleep!!!
Right before I took these pictures, I caught myself going to make my bed and straighten up a bit. I stopped because that’s not ‘real.’ If you were to come to my house as a guest, it would be clean and tidy, bed made, shoes put up. I do vacuum and dust weekly. But especially when I’m tired or not feeling good, this is what it looks like. Sorry Mom, but let’s keep it real here.
So, here is my bed. It’s not on the bed right now because it’s hot today but it’s not unusual for me to have a down alternative duvet on top of all of this. I can’t sleep if I’m cold. I get cold very easily and it makes me achey. I also like the weight of all the blankets, especially if I’m flaring. I feel like it keeps me from moving around much when I’m sleeping and when you flare, nothing sucks as much as rolling on to a painful joint and waking up.
I also have a very particular pillow formation. Let’s call it the T. Sometimes I also put either a pillow or a foam roller under my knees. I like my pillows like this because it’s a good neutral back and shoulder posture but also because I don’t move around much in this position.
Yes, the theme here is that I don’t like moving around much when I sleep. I go through phases when I have a very hard time falling asleep so it’s important to me that I stay asleep once I’m out.
I also have a humidifier that I run pretty much year round. I get super dry and it’s incredibly uncomfortable. I don’t know if it’s a function of RA though as I do remember feeing that way even when I was a child.
Here is my bedside table. Yes, the drawer always stays open like that. Mainly because I have so much crap in there that half the time I can’t close it. Yes, I will admit that there’s nothing in the other three drawers. I just realized that. And no, I honestly don’t know why I don’t use them.
Even worse is the fact that even with the full drawer I can’t shut, the only things I use in that drawer are my glasses and the remote. I’m just now realizing I have a Bible in there…hotel chic I guess? 😂😂😂
Anyways, the water bottle is ever present and full. I prefer it with lots and lots of ice cubes as well as a little bit of lemon juice. I use the BioFreeze on anything that may be acting up before bed, I really like the combo of that with a heating pad. I also use peppermint oil under my nose and Vicks on the bottom of my feet. My sinuses can be awful and perhaps it’s placebo effect but the Vicks on the bottom of my feet at bedtime works miracles. The fuzzy socks are to save my sheets…and because cold feet aren’t fun.
This is my closet. This section on the left is my as needed supply area. I just named it that though, it’s the best place to stash the things I sometimes use. Heating pad is awesome, I actually have several, and I have ice packs in my freezer. I love those things, switching back and forth between the two really helps when I hurt and the heat alone is good when I can’t sleep.
The foam roller I use sometimes to stretch sore muscles but more commonly use under my knees to take pressure off my lower back and hips when I sleep. The tennis ball is great for almost trigger point like massages of sore, knotted muscles.
I do a lot of restorative yoga and I adore my yoga wheel. I pull that out simply to stretch but it’s also good to change things up if I can’t fall asleep. Sometimes just getting up, doing some stretching and trying again is all I need.
That back massager…I would seriously pay someone to stand in my room all night and use it on my back. It is amazing.
The eye mask brings me to the last thing I need to sleep: pitch black. If I could build my dream bedroom, it would be a cave. I have thick curtains over my blinds but sometimes I still need help via the mask. Sure, I usually wake up with it wrapped around my head but I’m really light sensitive when I can’t fall asleep.
So that is the grand tour! Do you see anything familiar or have similar things you need?